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A Beginner's Guide to Soldier: 76

by Josh Bury Feb 6 2017
Thumbnail image courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

Jack Morrison has left his former identity behind, but his mission isn't over. As Soldier: 76, he takes the fight to the front lines as a flexible Offense hero.

Abilities

Heavy Pulse Rifle is a versatile weapon that is effective at most ranges. While the spread means that long-distance fire is inaccurate after the first few shots, it can be burst-fired effectively. At close ranges, the rate of fire helps 76 shred opponents.

When he needs to lay down the burst damage, Soldier: 76 can use his secondary fire to launch Helix Rockets. The projectile does strong damage in a small area. He can also use the explosion from the rockets, aimed at his feet, to gain additional jumping height.

Despite his advanced age, Soldier: 76 has kept up on his cardio and can cross the battlefield quickly with his Sprint ability.

When he needs to recover health, Soldier: 76 can drop a Biotic Field, which heals him over time. Though he is by no means a support hero, allies can also benefit from this effect.

Soldier: 76's ultimate ability is Tactical Visor, which engages a targeting system that will lock his aim to the enemy nearest the cursor. He can re-acquire targets at any time during the ability. His reload speed is also increased during the effect.

When is Soldier: 76 a good choice?

Soldier: 76 is perhaps the most well-rounded offensive hero available. He has strong mobility with both Sprint and effective use of his Helix Rockets to gain height, along with both good sustained and acceptable burst damage potential.

Soldier: 76 is a good choice when:

  • His team needs more damage, but a specific counter to another hero present is not needed
  • His team could use his flexibility, especially if his team's overall healing output is low
  • He can pair his Tactical Visor with a friendly Ana's Nanoboost
  • His team needs more sustained fire to help pressure an enemy Reinhardt's Barrier Field

Soldier: 76 can be more difficult to play when:

  • Facing a large number of damage-blocking effects like Barrier Field, Barrier Projector and Defense Matrix that block out damage from Tactical Visor

Soldier: 76 thrives in environments where:

  • He can fire into common approaches to objectives without being heavily pressured, like on most of Numbani
  • He can find flanking angles that force the enemy team to respond to him or die to his Tactical Visor, like on much of Temple of Anubis
  • Other DPS heroes, who require more constant attention from supports, might be separated from their team, like on Route 66

Josh "Gauntlet" Bury is a news editor for theScore esports. You can find him on Twitter.

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